Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Cotonou, Benin

Location:  Benin


As of March 30, commercial flights out of Benin exist but are significantly reduced.  Ethiopian Airlines is offering seats on flights to Addis Ababa on April 4 and April 11, with onward connections to the United States.  Air France has organized weekly specially scheduled flights, including on April 2, with priority given to French and EU citizens.  U.S. citizens who want to return to the United States are urged to work with Ethiopian Airlines or Air France immediately while flights remain available.  The land borders with Benin’s four neighboring countries are closed.

The Government of Benin has established a health cordon around the municipalities of Cotonou, Abomey-Calavi, Allada, Ouidah, Tori-Bossito, Zè, So-Ava, Aguégué, Sèmè-Podji, Porto-Novo, Akpro-Missérété and Adjarra in order to isolate them from the rest of the country and contain the spread of COVID-19.  This policy will be in effect through Monday, April 13.

Visit the Government of Benin’s COVID-19 website or call the Government’s COVID-19 hotline at 51 02 00 00 / 51 04 00 00 for additional information on these new measures.

In accordance with local public health recommendations, the U.S. Embassy Cotonou has reduced operations to emergency services only from March 30 through April 13.  U.S. citizens with emergencies should contact American Citizen Services at or call +229 21 36 75 00.  Those seeking emergency visa assistance should email

Traveling to Benin

All travelers arriving in Benin will be required to self-isolate in a government-designated quarantine facility for a period of 14 days.  Non-Beninese travelers will incur the cost of the stay.

Departing Benin

Limited commercial flight options remain (Ethiopian and Air France).

The Department of State is not currently organizing an evacuation of American citizens from Benin.  However, in the event that opportunity becomes available, we are asking you to let us know now if you are interested in being contacted.  Please send an email to with the subject line “Return Travel to the U.S.”  Please include the following information for each U.S. citizen, and each U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident guardian accompanying minor U.S. citizen children, in your family or group:

  • Full name as it appears on your passport
  • Citizenship (only for U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents)
  • Date of birth
  • Passport number/LPR Card Number
  • Date of passport/LPR Card issuance and expiration
  • Email address and contact phone number
  • Current location
  • Desired onward destination in the United States

We will contact you if a repatriation flight is being arranged and provide you with logistical information, including its cost per seat.  It is important to note that these seats are traditionally offered at charge on a first-come, first-serve basis to U.S. citizens and, space permitting, for qualifying non-citizen dependents.  Private American citizens seeking to depart are required to sign a promissory note and will be billed at a later date for the cost of the flight.

Actions to Take:

  • Review the Global Level 4 Health Advisory advising U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to COVID-19 and take into account that emergency medical care may not be available anywhere within Benin.
  • Follow all government and law enforcement procedures and instructions.
  • Check with your airlines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
  • Make plans to depart Benin without U.S. Government assistance or, if remaining in Benin, prepare to shelter in place for an indefinite period of time.
  • Consult theCDC website for the most up-to-date information.
  • Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Benin.
  • Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.